The Department of Railways, Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has signed an MoU with Thailand’s Sermsanguan Construction Company Limited to commence work on Phase II of the Laos-Thailand railway line. The 7.5 km long rail expansion is expected to be completed by end 2021. Laos currently has only 3.5 km of railway line linking the capital to Thailand’s Nong Khai province via the Laos-Thailand friendship bridge. After Phase II is completed, the track will be 11 km long. The scope of work of Phase II of the project also involves the construction of a container yard, dormitories for staff, a rail operations office and improvements to signals.

The project is being financed by a loan from Thailand’s Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency. Thailand has provided more than 994 million baht for the implementation of the project. Of this, 70 per cent is a low-interest loan and the remaining 30 per cent has been provided in the form of a grant.